The real reason USC lost to a middle-of-the-pack Oregon State team Thursday? SI's Phil Taylor, folks.
Last week's conference results make the road to the BCS title game look awfully smooth for the Trojans. It's hard to imagine how USC, which has only one nonconference opponent remaining (Notre Dame), could stumble in the Pac-10, not after the teams presumed to be its main threats -- Arizona State, Oregon and Cal -- looked so vulnerable. Of course, the Trojans should know better than to take the rest of the Pac-10 for granted, particularly after the shocking 24--23 upset that Stanford handed them last year, but the bottom of the conference doesn't seem likely to hit the lottery again this year.That article, which ran in the Sept. 22 issue of Sports Illustrated, pretty much doomed a Trojans team that has had its problems in Corvallis, Ore.
While the nation's reaction to this upset was complete and utter shock, Pac-10 fans weren't nearly as surprised as USC has struggled the last three years against mid-tier programs.
In 2006, the Trojans lost to the unranked Beavers and then to UCLA in the final regular-season game.
In 2007, the Trojans' hiccup was a one-point loss to Stanford. Fucking Stanford.
And now this latest loss to OSU. While not a huge surprise to us, it's a loss that will mess with USC's National Championship bid unless the Big 12 and SEC powerhouses all manage to lose twice.
And that's assuming, too, that the Trojans win out. But that shouldn't be hard as the Trojans' road to the BCS title game has never been easier. Just ask Sports Illustrated.